Social Work Office of Research & Public Service

Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R)

East & Upper East TN

CCR&R provides early childhood training and resources for early childhood professionals, families, and communities that support quality care and development of young children. The East and Upper East CCR&R serves the 21 counties in the East Tennessee region of the state: Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Carter, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Greene, Hancock, Hamblen, Hawkins, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Sevier, Sullivan, Unicoi, Union, and Washington.


  • Provide on-site classroom coaching and mentoring 
  • Training support  


  • Virtual and in-person Tennessee Child Care Provider Trainings (TN-CCPT) 
  • Emergency preparedness training and events 
  • CPR and first aid trainings 
  • DHS licensed childcare in-service trainings  
  • Preschool Specialization 
  • New Educator Academy 


Classroom Support

  • Peer learning groups 
  • Director support groups 
  • Advocacy within the early childhood community 
  • On-site coaching and mentoring
  • Provider requested classroom support

Tennessee Child Care Resource and Referral’s highly trained coaches provide the Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) licensed child care programs and professionals with training and technical assistance on topics such as health, safety & nutrition, child development, family community relationships & engagement, observing, documenting & assessing, learning environments, building meaningful curriculum, leadership & professionalism, and organizational development & administration. 

The East and Upper East sites of the Tennessee Child Care Resource & Referral are housed at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville as part of UT SWORPS. Eight Early Childhood Quality Coaches and an Outdoor Learning Specialist collaborate with various other content area coaches to provide services focusing on infants and toddlers, family engagement, inclusion, health safety & supervision, and small business support. 

Team Members

Donna Carver

Early Childhood Quality Coach

Rhonda Del Carmen

Early Childhood Quality Coach

Beth Gaby

Early Childhood Quality Coach

Jennifer Huffaker

Early Childhood Quality Coach

Heather Lamb

East/Upper East Regional Coordinator

Michael Lantz

Outdoor Learning Specialist

Ariel Singleton

Early Childhood Quality Coach

Ashleigh Stocton

Early Childhood Quality Coach

Marissa Tester

Early Childhood Quality Coach

Kim Thornhill

Early Childhood Quality Coach